INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CENTRAL REMEDIAL CLINIC
(REPRESENTED BY HEALTH SERVICE EMPLOYERS AGENCY)
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Grade and pay review.
2. The dispute concerns a claim by the Union on behalf of Care Staff employed by the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) for a review of their pay and grade on the basis that they are inadequately remunerated for their role in comparison to similar jobs elsewhere in the Health Service. The Union proposes that an independent comparative evaluation of the jobs be carried out as a mechanism for dealing with the issue. Management rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the May, 20002. Agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 9th September, 2002. A Court hearing was held on the 20th November, 2002.
3. 1. In recent years the level of skills of Care Staff have increased significantly. Even
if the claimants' pay had been correctly aligned in the past, a review is now justified.
2. Care Staff play a vital role in the implementation of client specific personalised programmes, which can involve speech therapy or psychology and require a diversity of skills from the worker. One of the major areas of responsibility entrusted to workers is the planning , organising and carrying out of activities.
3. A comparison of the Job Descriptions of the CRC staff and Care Staff in the Daughters of Charity, who are paid at the higher Care Assistant rate, shows a significant degree of equivalence between them.
4. It is essential to have an independent comparative analysis undertaken to establish the correct analogy within the Health Service for the claimants. Their current pay analogy is with "non nursing " grades. The parallel benchmarking exercise will not address the claim as it only result in an increase for all grades in this category.
5. There is a big problem with recruitment and retention of staff in this area. It is essential to determine fair rates of pay for these jobs.
4. 1.The role and responsibilities of the Care Assistant employed in the CRC is comparable with those in other agencies in the Health Service who provide services in the physical disabilities sector.
2. Where the comparable grade in Cara Cheshire Homes sought to have their pay examined independently, the Court recommended that the grade be dealt with as part of the parallel benchmarking process (LCR 16948 refers ).
3. The benchmarking process represents the interests of all non nursing grades employed throughout the Health Service. The Care Assistants employed by the CRC are health service workers and must be dealt with in that context.
4. Management, recognising that the Care Assistants employed in the CRC were paid less than the nurses aide rate in the Dublin area, implemented an increase retrospective to the staff from 1st October, 2000.
5.There are no problems in the area of recruitment and retention since October, 2000.
Having regard to all the circumstances of this case the Court recommends that the parties await the report of the parallel benchmarking process and review the position in light of the outcome of that process.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
28th November, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.